Since 2012, Twizel Area School drama students have been lucky enough to take part in the SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival, held in Wellington. 

The Festival is an annual event that involves more than half the secondary schools in the country. During the Regional Festival, students engage with Shakespeare's plays by performing 5-minute and 15-minute excerpts from them with schools in their area. Schools from each region are then selected to go on to participate in the National Festival.

The programme is jam-packed with activities, workshops, optional tours, special guest performances, placing calls and of course the forty-eight schools’ 5 or 15-minute Shakespearean performances.

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The Festival scope is wide as students act, direct, serve as crew, compose music, write essays; and create costumes, posters, static images and dvd covers for their performances. A large percent of students participating in the Festival - 73%, are aged between 16 and 18 years old, with the majority of performances - 68% in 2017, being student-directed.

In 2022 Twizel Area School students received three awards following the festival:

  • Most Effective Design Award donated by Toi Whakaari (NZ Drama School) 
  • Outstanding Music/Song Award (Student Directed) Donated by Julie Nevett (Morrison Music Trust)
  • Outstanding Performer Award Donated by Peter Vere Jones, won by Lily Brophy

The Outstanding Performer Award means that Lily automatically went to the National Shakespeare Schools Production (NSSP), a residential intensive week of workshops and rehearsals in which the students study and perform one of three Shakespeare plays.

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